Help with buttercream please!

(16 Posts)
stopthenoise Mon 19-Nov-12 15:29:54

I'm a beginner baker, do the odd sponge cake and cupcakes with DS but seem to struggle with buttercream. I know, it's ridiculous. I have a few different recipes for buttercream but always seem to get the same end result. It's too runny! I always make sure the butter isn't too warm and the cakes are completely cold before I start piping/spreading. I even put it in the fridge to firm it up which works great until I put it in an icing bag and it just slops on the cake. What am I doing wrong?

Assuming youre not using too much milk smile
Its probably the butter. When you say you make sure it isnt too warm, are you softening it in the microwave? Butter should just be at room temp after being stored in a cupboard not the fridge.

Goldensunnydays81 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:44:23

Are you putting double the amount of icing sugar to butter? smile

stopthenoise Mon 19-Nov-12 15:47:23

Butter is at room temperature, I leave it out of the fridge for a bit before i use it. A friend of mine told me to beat the butter first before adding the icing sugar but to me it seemed to make it too soft confused

I always find I need loads more icing sugar than stated.

stopthenoise Mon 19-Nov-12 15:51:30

yes golden. another one i tried was 125g butter and 400g icing sugar. When I put it in the fridge I don't understand how it turns to slop when it goes on the cake.

PandaNot Mon 19-Nov-12 15:57:35

80g of butter 250g of icing sugar and 25 mls of milk, beat for about five minutes. This has never gone wrong for me. When you say sloppy, do you mean literally runny, running off the spoon runny? Because it is supposed to be very soft but it should still hold its shape.

dawntigga Mon 19-Nov-12 16:28:00

Are you using beaters or the blade on a food processor? Blades do NOT work and make everything liquidy.

DoNOTAskHowIKnowThisTiggaxx

nannycook Mon 19-Nov-12 22:20:53

Stopthenois, i always do the same for all my cakes and i make a fair few, i use a full packet of butter and a good box maybe more of icing sugar, i never use milk, always vanilla extract and beat it for at least 10mins and longer, i use a mixer and my buttercream turns out the same everytime, it always looks like double cream, its lovely and i got so many good comments. Its the tip i can give you really just beat the help out of it, it needs to be very light and fluffy.

bacon Mon 19-Nov-12 22:57:19

If you dont want to add more sugar you can add meringue powder to stiffen but be cautious with amount. I wouldnt add milk either. usual mix is 1:2 or 1:3. Use whisk attachment.

stopthenoise Tue 20-Nov-12 16:04:06

Thanks for all your tips. I think my problem is I'm not beating it for long enough, nannycook I never thought you would need to beat it for that long! And pandanot when I say runny it's more like custard blush I will also try your recipe too to see how it goes. You really can tell I'm only learning, you wouldn't think buttercream could go wrong blush

nannycook Tue 20-Nov-12 21:21:01

You dont really, i always have and it gives me the lightest fluffy buttercream ever. When i do it for cakes for people i always put a whitener in there to which makes it whiter again.

MikeLitoris Tue 20-Nov-12 22:44:21

It may seem like a stupid question but are you using proper butter?

I know someone who had the same problem and it turned out they were using stork and not enough sugar.

I do one pack of butter to double the amount of icing sugar with a tiny drop of vanilla extract. No other liquids.

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 22:53:38

Deffo too much milk. The milk is usually to make it soft enough to pipe/spread nicely but if it's making it runny try without. I have before and it still tastes nice and pipes well. Otherwise I would suggest a different butter

redwallday Thu 22-Nov-12 16:33:06

Are you using real butter? Margarine goes sloppy. Room temp butter, 250g of butter to 500g of icing sugar. Don't add milk, add a tablespoon of water if needed and also a teaspoon of vanilla. Simples!

twolittlelovelies Fri 23-Nov-12 10:01:22

Hi stopthenoise, I would agree with the half butter to icing sugar approach. I bake for a living and, when not baking dairy free, always use twice the weight of icing sugar to butter (real butter, never a substitute). I never use milk or water and always beat slowly at first, then speed up and keep beating for up to 10mins or until the mixture is really light and fluffy. Good luck

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